Please Mr. Postman...

Is there a letter in your bag for me? 

These days our mailboxes get filled with bills and junk mail. Less and less bills thanks to eBills, but they are still in the mailbox. Rarely do we receive letters or cards outside of specific occasions (birthdays, holidays, etc). 

Cleaning up my dining table, I stumbled upon this: 

Dad sent that the day before I took my APR exam when I had reached unimaginable levels of anxiety and stress. I received it the Monday after, but it still warmed my heart. It was perfect timing to find it again on Monday because of how spectacularly awful my Monday had been for a Monday. It put traditional Mondays to shame. 

Reading that note he mailed me warmed my heart and, this will sound cheesy, put me at peace for a moment. It is now held up on my fridge with a magnet. 

Sometimes we need words of encouragement. Receiving it via a text, email, tweet or Facebook post works but it is hard to stumble upon those like a handwritten note. Truly, how many of us go back and scan through old emails or text messages unless we're looking for something specific? 

Finding this again sent my mind down memory lane. How growing up I went to diabetic summer camp (greatest place ever). And waiting for me on the first day was always a letter for me from my Grandpa. He lived in my hometown so I probably saw him the day he wrote and mailed the letter but it always made me feel a little extra loved. He'd send a letter each day I was at camp. I never had to worry about not receiving a letter from home. 

Camp was before email and cell phones. My fellow campers and I were spread out across the state. We shared such a bond and dreaded the day our parents came to take us back home. To stay in contact, we wrote letters. Basically, we were pen-pals. It is a shame kids these days are growing up without traditional pen-pals. I was always excited when Dad came home from work with the day's mail. Before he had a chance to say  hello, I was pestering  him for the mail to see if I received a letter. Each time there was a letter, it felt like striking gold. 

When I went away to college, Grandpa continued to write letters. Sometimes he'd include a couple dollars so I could get a "hush." I remember he sent a letter to my sisters, my cousin and I. The same letter to each of us, which really, didn't matter, it was still a letter. And he photocopied a dollar bill at the bottom of the page. His reasoning? Grandma wouldn't give him his allowance so he could spoil us. I'm still giggling thinking about it. 

It wasn't just about receiving them. I always enjoyed writing and sending them too. When I moved out-of-state, I would send postcards to my Grandma. I made sure to send postcards connected to what I was doing so she could also see what I was talking about instead of just reading. I miss sending those to her. 

The trip down memory lane was exactly what I needed after a crummy day. And it reminded me how such simple things can give us joy. More importantly, it reminded me that I am blessed to have received and continue receiving handwritten notes. The most important thing though it reminded me is I need to send a note to my Wisconsin pen-pal.


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